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the love we share


Mothers, fathers


friends, neighbors, colleagues

lovers and livers

outcasts and vagabonds

gather round…

It’s ok.

It’s ok to feel. It’s ok to be afraid.

It’s ok to be sad for the ones we couldn’t save.

It’s ok, indeed, admirable to be sad for the ones who caused the pain.

After all, hurt people hurt people.

And that is the story of us all.

We have all been hurt. We have all hurt someone. In this none of us is alone.

And yet our hurt and hurting occupies the space between us like the proverbial elephant

Filling the room, never moving, only preventing us

From seeing and being seen.

From hearing and being heard.

From touching and being open to touch

Particularly in the heart.

Perhaps the elephant has also been hurt. Perhaps he or she is afraid.

Perhaps that’s why it is in here, with us, within these walls

Protected, and yet never able to escape.

What the elephant doesn’t know

What we may not yet know

Is that safety is not what stops the hurt

Nor is it what ends the hurting.

At least, not what we think of as safety

You see, insulated is not the same thing as safe.

Isolated is not the same as safe.

Even protected is not really the same as safe.

Safety, paradoxically, doesn’t come from any of those things.

Not the kind that matters.

Of all the ironies of life, the most profound may be that safety

Real safety of the heart

Requires that we be vulnerable

That we see and are seen

Hear and speak the truth of our stories

Touch and are touched

Especially in the heart.

It is natural to be afraid! Don’t be ashamed; I have been, too.

Listen while I tell you the great secret, the most important thing:

The way to be brave is to love.

To love and be loved,

Joyfully, loyally, recklessly, unguarded, vulnerably, boundlessly-Love!

For perfect love casteth out ALL fear

Love wears no armor, for it pierces the thickest walls

Loves bears no arms, for it requires no force to bring us all to our knees

Joyfully weeping, and ready to kiss the ground

Love wears no armor, Love bears no arms

It brings us all to our knees,

Kissing the ground that another, many others, walk on

Love brings us to see clearly, vividly, gloriously

The God within us all

And when we love and are loved

When we truly love and are truly loved

Then we will beat our swords into ploughshares

And use old spears to pluck divine fruits of our holy labors

(Sweeter than any found in Eden)

And bid farewell to fear, and ever rest




In the Love we share

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